With RFI joining Railsponsible the initiative now has nine members in five countries

Logo_RFIAfter SBB joining earlier this year, Railsponsible is now pleased to welcome Rete Ferroviaria Italiana S.p.A (RFI) as a new member to the initiative. We took this as an occasion to speak to Edgardo Greco, CPO at RFI. Read the interview below.

When and how did you become aware of Railsponsible?

It was already in 2015, when RFI participated to the event in Utrecht during which the initiative was officially launched.

How far is RFI on the journey towards sustainable procurement? What concrete steps have you been taking until now? How do you see it evolving in the near future?

RFI started the journey towards sustainable procurement some years ago, by introducing new requirements in its tenders, including having an environmental management system according to ISO 14001 for some specific materials and works contracts, particularly in the areas of rail infrastructure, electric traction and energy.

RFI also manages 11 so-called ‘Qualification Systems’, in which over 400 suppliers are continuously monitored with regards to a list of technical and organizational requirements, from the entire production processes, to the quality of materials involved, engineering and testing capabilities and certifications, particularly on safety and environment.

In addition, we have just introduced a CSR rating in form of a rewarding score in some technical economical tenders. In the near future we will increasingly reward companies demonstrating the highest attention to Corporate Social Responsibility, in coherence with F.S. Italiane Group commitment towards environmental and social performance in its business.

By joining Railsponsible, what does RFI want to achieve both in the short (over the next year) and long term (in 5 years time)?

We hope that by joining Railsponsible members we will contribute to developing synergies between rail companies sharing sustainable procurement strategies over the next year or so. Over the medium to long term, this process may help the players involved in the initiative to improve the whole supply chain, so that it can really become sustainable – another important goal is the reduction of risks for the companies as consequence of strong Sustainable Procurement programs.

In the next five years RFI aims at being recognized as a strong player in the field of sustainable procurement.

What feature of the initiative are you most excited about? Where do you want to contribute actively?

To share experiences not only between rail companies but also with rail suppliers is an interesting aspect, among others, that can surely contribute to improve the rail value chain.

As a contribution to the activity, we could imagine developing a best practices library for sustainable procurement, to be used as a common data base at European level.

How would you like to see the initiative develop over the next years? What should it focus on?

Personally, I think the initiative can become a landmark for all the actors involved in the rail sector, both rail operators and suppliers can contribute to create a more responsible, sustainable supply chain, towards an even better rail manufacturing, more focused on crucial aspects such as environmental impact and social aspects – besides quality and costs only.